Jewell Porter ‘16: So, what do you do in the library?
Emma Miller ‘16: I work in serials, so periodicals. Basically, what I do is check in the daily periodicals. So, they’ll come in the mail, and I’ll sort them and shelve them [in the Atrium].
J: What do you like about working in the library?
E: I really like the consistency. I know some people say that’s boring, but I really like doing the same action every day. Also, I really like my bosses. They’re really wonderful. Sarah is wonderful, Erin is wonderful, Kim is wonderful, everybody is wonderful.
J: That’s great. So, what’s your major?
E: I’m an English Lit major with a Film minor… I like to learn about the shape of stories through English literature and the mechanics of how to tell a story through cinema.
J: You are currently working on a musical about zombies. How long have you been active in the theater?
E: Well, that’s an interesting question. I usually submit for one-acts, and I’m usually involved in one-acts. But I have only done one department show. I was Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, but I really don’t take theater classes. I just really love telling stories. This was the avenue that I thought Once Bitten works best.
J: What inspired you to write Once Bitten?
E: Okay, I’m going to be honest, so get ready. Zombies were big for a long time, and I had kind of seen that zombies were big. I wanted to try to write in a popular genre. I basically said, “Okay, what’s popular?” Zombies!… I had never seen a zombie play or a musical, so I said, “That’s what I’m going to write.”
I had also recently been watching Star Kid, if you know A Very Potter Musical. They did a bunch of parody musicals. I decided to try to mimic the style of Star Kid and combine those two things.
J: Who on campus has helped you?
E: My brother, Ian Miller, who is a very talented musician, wrote the bare bones of each song … Aaron Robertson, who is a senior, has taken it to a whole other level that I could never ever do. [He] has done five songs. He has produced the orchestration, the sheet music, the lyrics. Erin Katalinic is directing … She runs the practices and makes the schedules and figures out who is wearing what costumes. Kelsey Schwimmer is assistant directing, helping Erin with organization and keeping notes during practice.
They basically get to come in now and change things, and I love it. It’s so much fun to watch.
I also have Allie Vugrincic, a Film major, doing a film that will go before the play, which is like a 50’s educational film. She’s also drawing the art for the programs.
J: What do you think it is about this project that makes people want to get involved with it? It seems like there are a lot of people from a lot of different parts of campus involved.
E: It’s such a weird, quirky kind of subject. I don’t think it’s anything I’ve written. I think it’s the fact that we are putting on a zombie apocalypse musical. That kind of novel idea attracts people to doing it. And, I think, people are now being given the chance to do something.
Allie said to me, “This is so great that I get to do something that I’m not being graded on.” And Aaron gets to produce music that he’s not getting a grade on. It’s just something for his portfolio later in life that he can say, “I did this.” And I think that that is something that attracts people to doing it.
J: How involved are you in the actual execution of the play?
E: I call myself a producer. I am Nick Fury for The Avengers. I’m trying to get all these people together, these very talented people to do really talented things.
People think that because I wrote it, I’m very attached to certain parts of it. The thing is, I’m attached to the project as a whole. I’m attached to watching it grow. I’m attached to seeing what other people bring to it.
My actors have brought different jokes, things that I never could have written, but they’re hilarious. Aaron brings a different thing to it, Kelsey brings a different thing to it, Erin brings her own unique perspective and I love that because a project like this is not just my project. It’s our project. Making it so that everyone feels that ownership of it, and that’s what I love watching. I think that’s a wonderful thing.
When and where is the musical going to be performed?
The musical will be performed on February 19th (8:00pm), 20th (8:00pm), and 21st (2:00pm) in the Burke Black Box.
Anything else you’d like to tell people about it?
Come see the show! It’s going to be drop dead hilarious! Get it? Drop dead? Zombie humor? Come for more terrible Zombie puns if nothing else.